Chapter 32 – Visitors in the Workplace

(12/02; amended 10/17)

32.1 General

University employees should exercise supervision over visitors who enter their workplace to ensure personal safety and minimize disruption of work-related activities.

32.2 Definitions

  1. "Visitor" includes personal visitors, such as family members, as well as students, patients, customers, vendors, or professional colleagues.
  2.  "Workplace" refers to all University facilities that may be used as laboratories, studios, classrooms, hospitals and clinics, or offices, as well as any other spaces used in carrying out the University's threefold mission of teaching, research, and service.
  3. "Personal safety hazards" that may exist in University workplaces include both physical and material hazards (chemical, radioactive, and/or biological) related to the functions of the various working environments at the University.

32.3 Responsibility for Policy and Procedures

  1. University units are responsible for developing and implementing appropriate and reasonable restrictions on visitor access insofar as it is necessary to:
    1. Protect the health and safety of occupants and of visitors to University workplaces.
    2. Protect the confidentiality of data and information that may relate to students, patients, employees, and others served by the University community.
    3. Minimize activity that might detract from the productivity and effectiveness of University faculty and staff in the workplace.
    4. Maintain the security of University property and resources.
  2. Such restrictions may provide for limitations on access, frequency, and duration of visits and must provide for appropriate supervision of all workplace visitors. Some visitors may require close and ongoing supervision, particularly in areas with known hazards. Unit-based policies may vary in the degree of restriction due to the nature of the local workplace, but will consistently maintain the protections specified above.

    For example, visitors should not be brought to areas in which hazardous equipment, materials, or activities are present (e.g., laboratories, studios), except for conducting University business and only when utilizing appropriate safety precautions. Colleagues, prospective students, and students from primary and secondary schools may enter these areas as part of educational programs or for academic, scholarly, artistic, or research purposes; however, they must be fully supervised during their visit. Full supervision of visitors in areas with known hazards requires the undivided attention of the supervisor(s) to the visitor(s), and visits should be limited in frequency and duration.

    Visitors brought into areas that do not normally entail hazards beyond those usually encountered in public spaces (e.g., administrative offices, libraries, lecture classrooms) should be supervised at a level that is necessary and sufficient to ensure both the safety of the occupants and visitor(s). Even these visits should be limited insofar as it is necessary to assure that the quality and quantity of work being carried out by all employees and students in the area are not compromised, and that the quality and integrity of all University data, services, and resources are maintained.

    Questions or concerns regarding specific visitors and/or the applications of the policy should be directed to the administrative official responsible for the unit.

32.4 Minors in the Workplace

  1. Any visit involving minors, other than a brief, occasional visit by a family member, requires appropriate supervisory or departmental administrative approval.
  2. Minors are not permitted in high-risk areas except where specifically allowed otherwise by University policy. Examples of high-risk areas generally include, but are not limited to: 
    1. Power plants, shops, mechanical rooms, confined spaces, food preparation areas; 
    2. Any areas, indoors or out, containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts or rotating equipment (e.g., mechanical rooms or construction areas);
    3. Areas with heavy-duty or other motorized equipment; 
    4. Laboratories or specialized work areas that include chemical hazards, biological hazards, radioactive hazards, flammables, explosives, compressed gases, sharp objects, lasers, research animals, electrical hazards, hazardous wastes, or other environmental hazards; and
    5. Other high-risk areas (rooftops, construction zones, etc.).

Questions or concerns regarding specific visitors and/or the applications of the policy should be directed to the administrative official responsible for the unit.

(See also II-16 Minors on Campus.)